The Art of the Interview: Why Should We Hire You?

By Charlene Holsendorff 

     You're in the final minutes of the interview. The Interviewer leans forward in the chair, and with steepled fingers and steady gaze asks "Why should we hire you?"
     The response I usually get when coaching clients in mock interview preparation includes a generic recital that includes the following:
~ I'm very organized
~ I'm focused and analytical
~ I'm a hard worker
~ I have a lot of experience
~ I'm a team player
~ I'm very efficient
~ I have a good work ethic
~ I get along well with others

     The problem with these responses (other than being excruciatingly cliché) is that they focus on only one part of the question - the 'you' part. Yes, it's necessary to convey to the Employer what you bring to the table, but that's an incomplete consideration. This question is equally about aligning your skills with the employer's needs - the 'we' part.
     When you hear the question 'Why should we hire you?' think 'What can you do for us?' The interview is, after all, a sales process. But don't let that word sales scare you... a very good salesperson will align what's being sold to the buyer's needs.


     Since the primary focus of the interview is to diagnose the employer's needs, it stands to reason that the 'Why should we hire you?' question needs to answer how specifically you'll be able to do so.
     When you became aware of and/or applied for this position you presumably scrutinized the job description, right? (That's a rhetorical question.) Of course you did! And, during the interview your exploratory questions will provide an even greater understanding of what the position entails, what the Employer needs.
     The Employer is, after all, looking to hire someone because of specific need(s) within the company. Thus your response to this question should connect you to the job in a very specific and personal way.


     Following is an example of how to respond:
"From our conversations, you've indicated you're experiencing problems with regulatory compliance, and that you need someone to come in and address these issues without delay. With my eight years of experience working with internal auditors and external agents, I have saved companies thousands of dollars by assessing and repairing Quality and Compliance reporting systems. My quick learning style and collaborative approach enable me to assess and resolve problems at fundamental levels. I have the ability to stay focused in stressful situations and am known for my professional demeanor even in the midst of stressful circumstances. I'm confident I would be a great addition to your team."

     With this focused response, it becomes apparent to the Interviewer that:
~ you have been listening
~ you have a grasp of what the issues and concerns are
~ you are the Solution to the problem

So, why should you be hired?
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